Class of 2003
Sport : Football : University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Known as one of the greatest linebackers in National Football League history, Lawrence Taylor's prowess started on the field of Lafayette High School in Williamsburg showing everyone why he was going to be a superstar and why he√ïs still regarded as one of the most dominant players in college and professional football history. Taylor was maybe the most fearsome pass-rushing threat college football history has ever seen. Earning All-American honors at the University of North Carolina, he was the primary reason why the Tar Heels went 11-1 in 1980. Following his outstanding career at North Carolina, Taylor was the first-round draft pick of the New York Giants and the second player selected overall in the 1981 NFL draft. Taylor parlayed speed and power into an ability to dominate a game with his attack style. He transformed the mode of linebacker play from read-and-react to attack. He was named the league's most valuable player in 1986 and was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection. The ultimate NFL warrior, Taylor once played a game against New Orleans in 1988 with a torn-up shoulder and pectoral muscle strapped in a harness. He managed to record seven tackles, three sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Giants won 13-12. Taylor, who played 13 seasons with the New York Giants and ranks second in all-time quarterback sacks, recorded during his career 1,088 tackles, 132.5 sacks, 33 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, and nine interceptions. In 1989, he was one of three players chosen unanimously to the NFL's All-1980s team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.